SELDA on proposals for
Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the distribution of
the victims’ compensation from the settlement agreement
March 26, 2011
QUEZON CITY – “Our
struggle for justice is far from over. At this time that martial law
victims are receiving a small amount of indemnification, a dangerous
proposal to bury the remains of the fascist dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is being pursued hurriedly and in earnest by
Marcos allies in Congress. We find this grossly unacceptable and a
travesty of history.”
Thus said Marie Hilao-Enriquez,
Chairperson of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at
Aresto (SELDA) and daughter of one of the original named plaintiffs in
the historic class suit against Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, in a press
conference today with other victims of the Marcos dictatorship. SELDA
initiated and led the 9, 539 Martial Law victims in filing the case
against Marcos in the US Federal Court system on April 7, 1986,
barely two months after the dictator’s ouster by the so-called People
Power I or EDSA I.
House Resolution 1135, recently filed and signed by legislators from
the House of Representatives appealing to President Noynoy Aquino for
former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“It makes a mockery of
the horrors that the Filipino people endured during the Martial Law
era: plunder, numerous human rights violations including summary
executions, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and
detention, hamletting and forced evacuation, among others. While we
welcomed the distribution of funds from the $10M settlement agreement
with the Marcos crony Jose Campos, such victory won by the victims
should not be seen as a sign that the Marcoses can just get away with
the obliteration of the gross human rights violations committed by the
Marcos dictatorship against the Filipino people," said Enriquez.
SELDA also monitored
the distribution of the funds for the Marcos victims which started on
February 28, 2011. Enriquez and her fellow victims noted the
following reports in summary:
1) The reduction of
the number of claimants from 9,539 to 7,526 victims is arbitrary.
In the National
Capital Region, there were some 150 victims and their relatives who
were among the 9,539 victims who were not given their claims and were
made to accomplish forms to indicate that their claims are for further
investigation. Among the victims who were among the original list of
victims were Fidel and Rosario Agcaoili, Prof. Joma Sison, Satur
Ocampo, Judy Taguiwalo, Josephine Dongail, Bonifacio Ilagan, Carol
Araullo, Sonia Brizuela Planas, Rhodora Julian Clemente, Maxima Luneta,
Corazon Casambre, Manuel Navarro, Ramon Veluz, Melvin Cayabyab, Jose
Barsoles, Carlos Ortega, victims of the Tatalon massacre during the
Martial Law period, and many others were not given the compensation
The victims who
struggled against the construction of the Chico River Dam and
operations of the Cellophil Resource Corporation in the
Cordilleras were not in the reduced list even though they are among the 9,539.
Many victims from
Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and
Southern Mindanao were also arbitrarily delisted. Many of them belong
to the urban and rural poor and are in the twilight of their lives.
They spent money to go to the regional centers of the Commission on
Human Rights (CHR) but their names were not in the so-called
2) The system of
distribution is not efficient and inconsiderate of the situation of
Some victims who were
told that their names are not on the masterlist were soon told that
their names are included in other regions’ masterlist.
Some victims did not
receive notices from the court or Atty. Swift but when they checked
their names in the masterlist, they were able to find their names and
receive their claims.
Some victims received
notices from the court and Atty. Swift but when they checked the
masterlist, their names were not included in the said list.
“With the arbitrary
delisting of victims, they find themselves victims all over again.
Such action is tantamount to saying that they are not victims of human
rights violations and therefore not entitled to justice and
indemnification. It denies victims of our legitimacy of status as
victims and their claim to justice,” Enriquez commented.
SELDA calls on
Judge Manuel Real and Atty. Robert Swift to accord the compensation
due the victims and demands the reinstatement of the 2,013 delisted